Friday, March 2, 2012

Building Department Requirements

The next major step in building your dream home with one of our panelized packages is obtaining the building permit.  Obtaining this permit is exactly the same as for any other custom built home.  There are no special requirements for submission to your local building department as our pre-cut homes are the same as a stick built home.

From the drafting department you will receive fully engineered plans wet stamped and ready to submit to your building department.  These plans will be drawn to include any local codes required including wind and seismic zones, snow loads or wildland fire codes.  You will receive:

  • Complete design drawings including a basic electrical plan.
  • Cover sheet
  • Wet stamped structural drawings and details.
  • Wet stamped structural calculations package.
  • Wet stamped truss plan and truss calculations.
The base price of the standard pre-engineered plans will cover most of the costs for these drawings.  Slight drafting and engineering charges may be incurred for modifying the plans including for a sloped site or some local code changes such as for the wildland fire code changes.
Other requirements include:
  • Site Plan - depending on the site complexity and the requirements of the local building department this can be drawn by the client, our drafting department or in some cases it will involve a surveyor for a topographical map and a civil engineer.
  • Title 24/Build it Green - we have a company that works closely with PMHI or you may use a company of your choice but many of the requirements now need to be included on the site plan and/or building plans.  The basic cost for these designs start at
  • Sprinkler Plan - this is now a state wide requirement and new plumbing companies in your area are meeting the requirements to provide this plan daily.
Other requirements that may be required by your local building department:
  • Septic Design and Environmental Health Clearance - this obviously depends on the property.  This may require a soils report and design by a Civil Engineer.
  • Geologist Report - this soils report is done by a licensed geologist and this report is used by the structural engineer to design the foundation.  Some jurisdictions always require a geologist's report, some never and in some cases it depends on each individual site and requires a site visit by the local building inspector to determine if it is required or not.
  • Civil Engineer drawings such as a grading plan and/or drainage plan.
  • Mechanical Plan
  • Build It Green Checklist
  • Landscape Plan
  • Planning Department and/or Architectural Review
The good news on this last list is that many building departments do not require any of these documents and others only if it is a difficult sloped site.  It is important though that the individual requirements be determined early in the process.  For example, if the drawings are submitted and then a geologist's report is required this can trigger the re-design of the foundation and additional engineering fees.

Please contact us and we will be happy to help you determine what the requirements are for your local building department.

And remember that in addition to our standard pre-engineered plans - we can help you with construction documents for your own custom plan.

For more information go to

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